Saturday, 3 March 2012

Inspiring practitioners for Monday!!

Exploring Knowledge and Understanding of the world in a fun way

It can get a bit tedious when you have the same things out every day in a setting. And if you are bored, imagine how the children must be feeling!! So, how about making things a little different by combining resources to create something magical?

I always used to like creating with natural materials and toy animals. It can be so appealing to a child to see the animals in a more realistic type scenario rather than on a farm or zoo mat!! Grab a play tray and collect a range of sticks, stones and leaves from your outside play area. This is something you can do with the children too as part of putting it all together. The children can be in control of what they want the animals to play in! You can even add sand and I have often used a plastic lid to create a little drinking area for the animals, filling it up with a little water!!

One thing which i found worked well was a huge log across the tray. This works well if you use your free standing water tray rather than a small table tray, but you will need more leaves etc to fill it!! You can balance the animals on the log, as if it were a bridge and hide animals underneath. You can even act out the story of the three billy goats gruff, but with different animals!!

The children will gain so much from gathering the items, as you can discuss the leaves colours and why they are on the ground to be found. Where did the sticks come from? How much do they need to fill the tray? What do the animals like to eat? Can you find something for them to hide in? So, Knowledge and Understanding of the world comes into it, but so does Communication skills and creative skills as they create their own little scenarios with the animals.

It is really worth a go, and so rewarding..............great for observations too!!!

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